Just feeling urrrrr.

I’m really tired of not writing, of ranting, of releasing. I seem to be overly busy these days, what’s F&^%ing new? My whole life has consisted of overly busyness where boredom becomes a luxury. Even now I shouldn’t be writing, I should be reading, studying, emailing people, writing a book report. Well FUCK it, in the best way possible.  There was a time in my life when life slowed down for me, where I actually felt on top of things, where I actually found time to spend leisurely time doing things I love such as arts and crafts and outdoor activities. Now I have to book these plenty in advance and forget the arts and craft part, ya not happening at all. Who does that as an adult anymore anyways. Do we stop because no time allows for it? Or is it simply because these days are just over?

So back to this one time in my life, this time was rural BC living near a town called Winlaw also close to Nelson. I was more than poverty struck when it came to what capitalism deems as important but I was rich in time and felt a lot more in control of my life. Playing catch up wasn’t a part of my life, enjoying nature for what it is was.

In Winlaw enjoying one of nature's gems; food.

Something else that bugs me these days is how much we accept being superficial, how much time and money so many of us spend seeking it, how many of us ultimately are negatively affected by it when we are not the prettiest girl in the room. And when I say “us” I’m mostly referring to womyn here because I can’t stop but notice how many men just don’t spend nearly 1/10th of the time womyn do on their superficial being. Yes it’s fun to play dress up but does it really have to consume our everyday lives everywhere we go. Recently I found out that at hockey games employees actually get in trouble if they showcase unattractive womyn on screen, because yes it is definitely a pre-requisite to be attractive in order to be a hockey fan. Dicks!

And then the city I live in recently has one thing on their mind other than sexing themselves up: the grey cup. The news won’t even announce what the weather is today but rather replaced the word today with grey cup. Sports is such a sexist affair in our society. When the fuck do womyn assemble in a city at over 200 000 for any event for that matter? Men have football, hockey, basetball, fast car races and womyn have manicures, pedicures, clothes shopping to accompany these fans at events where fried food, drunkenness and ups and downs, depending on the scores, accompanies the event.  And they say womyn are hormonal. Exclamation mark.

I guess feeling this pissed means I care and am alive and well, cheers to that! And off I go trying to keep up with my day.  This time however, I’m feeling just a little less stuffy.

Growing up to be pretty

Amazing, passionate and powerful piece on growing up to be pretty by Katie Makkai:

“The word pretty is unworthy of anything you will be and no child of mine will be contained in 5 letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing but you will never be merely pretty.”

Marie-Josée, Olympic Weightlifter, Wins 4th at Commonwealth Games

My sister amazed us with all her might beating her personal best at the Commonwealth Games and placing 4th in Olympic weightlifting. Watching her on a live stream channel on the web with an air card was like watching the scariest movie as a kid with an antenna you are moving around to desperately try and get a picture you’re not really sure you want to watch.  My palms were drenched in sweat as I could feel my heartbeat pounding. If I was feeling this nervous so far away and removed, I couldn’t imagine what is was like to be her.

The camera zoomed in on her pacing before her first lift. And then came the moment we were but weren’t waiting for, there she was on the platform bending down for the bar, holding on to it so tight. As she attempted to lift, she failed and had to let go of the bar. My heart sank. Did she attempt to try a higher weight than she was capable? She is a high achiever but was this going to get in the way of her performance? I just wanted to go through the computer screen and give her a big hug (something she is not a fan of but maybe at this moment she would be).

How was she going to get her 2nd lift up when her muscles were now more exhausted? I closed my eyes very tight and wished so very hard for her! Opening up one eye lid, there she was grabbing the bar for a second time and with her next exhale she started lifting giving it everything she had. There was no way that bar wasn’t going over her head. You could just tell in her face, she was giving everything she had. And for the next 5 lifts it was the same. The bar went over her head every time. These pictures show us a glimpse of this and so much more. These pictures are worth a 1000 words and some.

Truly Amazing.

My sister, My Shero!

 

Marie-Josée, Olympic Weightlifter, at Commonwealth Games.

 

 

Marie-Josée, Olympic Weightlifter, at Commonwealth Games.

 

 

 

My favourite picture! Marie-Josée, Olympic Weightlifter, at Commonwealth Games.

 

Femme Forte -a shero story

As I anxiously wait for my sister to compete in New Delhi in Olympic weightlifting during the Commonwealth Games, I am wondering how she is feeling, what her surroundings are like, what is she thinking about, is there someone to support her with a kind smile in this foreign part of the world where competition is fierce and furious? Maybe a cute and kind boy?

Is her body compromised in any way? I couldn’t imagine this being one of the biggest days of my life only to wake up with a period. Who thinks of these things? Apparently I do. As much as I respect a period’s power, you best be very far from India, period.

So who is this Femme Forte? MJ is a very private individual which makes it challenging to write openly about her in a way where I can hopefully achieve giving her justice the way she gives justice to life. I shall try tres fort to share this story honouring her without dishonouring her privacy.

She, like many athletes have dedicated a life time to the world of sports.  She started with figure skating where her strength beat her grace as she fell out of a jump and landed chin first on hard ice. She received many stitches and was extremely lucky not to break her neck. Her next sport career: Speedskating, where power meets the need for speed.

She trained at the Oval arena in Calgary for many years where she met a dear-dear friend named Politics. I call “it” a dear-dear friend because “it” has since never left her side. “It” has been with her every step of the way, even when she is to pee on demand for drug testing no matter what she was in the middle of doing in her daily life. I can’t imagine peeing on demand in the middle of a midterm only to have someone stare at my pee hole. Geesh really! Really.

I could go on about “it”, “it” could actually take up pages of writing, however “it” gets easily offended and upset potentially making it worse for her so I shall leave “it” out, out of consideration for my sister.  She just may decide to introduce “it” to others one day, I look forward to this day.

When “it” and her became too close she decided to move into weightlifting. The fact that you could train for this sport out of your basement really appealed to her. She literally trained this way on more than a few occasions, in basements, garages and outdoors, mostly on her own.

One of her biggest challenges was finding a good coach. You would think there are plenty out there but really there aren’t. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard trying to find one on the National and International scene. She researched them from sport books to phone books. And forget about finding a womyn weightlifting coach …. not an option. Perhaps she will fill that gap one day. Something that would indeed have a great influence on minimizing sexism in this sport. A whole other story in itself.

MJ has pretty much been her own coach for about half the time she has been training in Olympic Weightlifting. I can’t imagine training at this level with such big weights and coaching myself, being my own manager and pretty much my own agent too. Meanwhile also keeping up with studies and working on the side bringing me to the topic of her next challenge: funding.

This country is really weak when it comes to knowing how to invest in their athletes. Our government cares so much about receiving shiny medals in the ‘big’ Olympics and other International Games however when it comes down to it those who usually get funded seem to be those who get along with “it” the best and even then you may be a starving athlete who relies heavily on a nourished body to support its performance growth.

Throughout all these challenges MJ has persevered and accomplished one of the greatest things in my eyes: staying true to who she is. Even if these challenges and many others sucked all the energy she had within her, she never gave up being authentic, never adapted her personality for the sole purpose of fitting a certain stereotype, never pretended to be someone she wasn’t even if it meant making her life easier. Sometimes I have to admit I wish she did change some of her ways because I saw the stress this created for her but in the end there is such great value in her ethics. It is these ethics and values that have got her to where she is without using anything or anyone against her will to get there. It is this that has inspired so many around her to believe you can accomplish great things being yourself. An inspiration we do not see often, a unique and authentic one that reminds us about the true meaning of being true to yourself and others.

It really sadden me not to be there with her tonight cheering her on in person. I know she can do it on her own because she has done it mostly on her own all this way. I wish kind eyes and warm smiles find her and surround her on this great day in her life.

WHAT A SHERO!!!!

She is competing second in her group at 2:30 am Eastern canadian time on October 8th

Yin Yoga Teacher Training Vancouver Day 8

I’m  e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d, joyfully so! A most excellent 8 days not only of intensive teacher training but also of visiting beauty-filled souls. Many of whom I had not seem in more years than I can count on one hand. Too much time has elapse but gratefulness that we have remained connected despite time and space.

We practiced teaching again on this last day of teacher training. It went well. I had the opportunity to teach one on one with Donna -my very first Moksha teacher. It felt like such an honour to have her as a student and hear her feedback. The words rolled better off my tongue it seemed and I felt more connected with my intuition. It was challenging to say the least as there were 20 of us teaching at the same time in an area as big as an average yoga class. This highly challenged our concentration as well as trying to remain in the present ON our mats.

So as promised here are extract of my notes for the week. This is a great way for me not to type what I think anymore. I shall end with this as my body is aching for sleep. It is marvellous being in a province where insomnia does not exist for me and I get to wake up early by choice rather than by an annoying machine but at the same time my body feels 2 – 3 times as tired at this time and staying awake becomes tres difficile.

Random Notes:

– there’s no absolute. Even with Yin you’ll find Yang and vice versa. Cold water can be Yin but in comparison to ice it is Yang.

– the 3 principles of Yin are: 1) come into an appropriate depth in a pose. 2) Become still 3) Hold for time.

– When we stress our tissues we are stressing the cell membranes and are getting them active.

– Stress is as important as rest, we have just lost the ability to find enough rest to balance the stress in our day to day live.

– Rule number one: There are no rules! Never is Never right. Always is always wrong.

– The heat works more on muscles, the cold works more on ligaments.

– Having a cold (the one with sniffles) every now is good for our body to help build our immune system. It’s best not to fight it but rather stay at home and rest it out.

– The fascia and our bones are not separate. You can’t really see where a tendon or muscle begins or ends. It is not as separate as we might think. 30% of a muscle is fascia.

– your range of motion is very much determined by your bones not just your dedication to stretching. Don’t assume tension is the only thing stopping them. Don’t assume you know what  student os feeling, ask them.

– don’t put someone else’s head above you own.

– many injuries in yoga tend to happen in and out of postures, another reason to transition mindfully.

– water retention can affect our flexibility especially for womyn.

– building and cars block the earth magnetic field which can be healing for us. The heart has the largest magnetic field in the body.

– Vitamin D is actually a hormone.

Thanks again for reading and following my yin teacher training journey! I head back home tomorrow.

Yin Yoga Teacher Training Vancouver Day 7

In case you haven’t heard it is I’m Exhausted and Need Much Rest International Yin Teacher Training Blogging Day. I will be back tomorrow night with my course binder in hand sharing some of the notes I took in class.  Happy sleeps or waking moments.

Yin Teacher Training Vancouver 2010 -Day 5

Eureka! I think I’ve re-discovered my knees! Literally. As I was exploring their soreness this morning I realized they aren’t actually pointing forward when I’m standing with my feet parallel to one another. They slightly point inwards. I wish I had my camera to take pictures to show you. And since Moksha usually guides a class asking us to bring our toes together and heels about an inch apart this further brings my knee caps in making them ‘pigeon knees’. I can see how this could cause continuous stress on them.

As I went to Moksha class tonight I tried the reverse. Bringing my heels together and big toes about an inch apart bringing my knees to point straight. I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed this before. In defense it is a subtle rotation but still another example of why tuning into your own body is extremely important in yoga. And in some postures I am realizing it can be extremely important for teachers to ask students what they are feeling before adjusting them and not just assume we know what is best. This is a huge part of what I’ve been learning with Yin Yoga.

Everyday Bernie, our teacher, encourages us to ask a student first what they are feeling, to check in with them, that since every body is different we can feel different stretches for the same posture. That getting everyone to adjust the same way is like treating everyone with the same pill. And generally there are certain pills given for certain conditions but people are examined before being prescribed pills. We make sure we are being prescribed the right pill for our ailment and body type (age, weight, allergies) and usually the first question we are ask is what are we feeling.

As I was exploring this new theory, in downward dog, of subtly bringing my heels closer together rather than my toes in Moksha class the teacher noticed and she adjusted them by turning them the other way. Knowing I was going to try something different I should have talked to her about this before class but it also did show me that as teachers we can tend to assume we know someone’s body and what is right for them and it is an area to be very mindful about. It’s so tricky though. In class the other day a Moksha teacher made an adjustment in a pose by bringing my shoulders down and it was a great adjustment to make and made me feel better!

I’m thinking experience will give me greater insight into this and I can now better see the value of having smaller classes and doing one on one yoga classes with students.

Bonne nuit! I get to sleep in an extra hour and a half tomorrow morning. My body has reached its exhaustion point today so it is extra rest I am greatly looking forward to.